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Sanitation, Water

The sanitation economy: Digging for treasure

The sanitation economy: Digging for treasure
In both respects, sanitation is deeply embedded. Grids of sewer pipes have been fixed into the surface of cities in the developed world for more than a century, and it has become a strong and important part of most policy makers’ belief that this is how to provide sanitation. Or, despairing of such systems ever being built in developing countries, some have swung to the opposite view, advocating off-grid solutions, which, while less embedded in the ground, become an equally strong and important part of their proponents’ beliefs.

Sanitation, Water

Evidence-based capacity building can inspire policy makers to accelerate sanitation interventions in Asia

Evidence-based capacity building can inspire policy makers to accelerate sanitation interventions in Asia
National and local governments in Asia are facing significant challenges to effectively deliver access to sanitation, as well as to properly collect, transport, dispose of, and treat fecal sludge. Actions taken by governments at present have been to implement large-scale sewer networks, which are prohibitively expensive, and which take years to plan and build. To address the growing challenges and requirements of sanitation, many cities are using a combination of on- and off-site sanitation solutions provided by a range of service providers comprising civil society partners, private companies, and municipalities or utility companies.

Environment, Water

Composite Water Management Index: A pathway to solve the water crisis in India

Composite Water Management Index: A pathway to solve the water crisis in India
The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and, more importantly, the citizens of India have acknowledged that the country is undergoing the “worst water crisis” in its history—and they are making commendable efforts to address it. They have proposed a comprehensive index to create awareness and to enable effective water management for the Indian states. In June 2018, NITI Aayog, the premier think tank for the Government of India, proposed the Composite Water Management Index, a tool to assess and improve the efficiency of water resource management.

Environment, Water

“Commitment” as a success factor for fecal sludge management

"Commitment" as a success factor for fecal sludge management
Leh, a high-altitude cold desert in India, is a popular tourist destination hosting around 250,000 visitors annually. At present, the poorly designed septic tanks and soak pits installed by households, hotels, and guesthouses to contain fecal sludge are posing a serious threat to groundwater contamination. To cater to the demand for fecal sludge management (FSM), the Municipal Committee of Leh (MCL) partnered with a private company called Blue Water Company (BWC) and a technical nongovernment organization named BORDA in 2017 to provide an end-to-end FSM service, including pit emptying and operation of a sludge treatment plant.

Health, Water

What can countries in Asia learn from the Republic of Korea and Malaysia about sanitation and its economic impacts?

What can countries in Asia learn from the Republic of Korea and Malaysia about sanitation and its economic impacts?
In 2014, when I first moved to the Republic of Korea from India, I was impressed and awestruck by the country’s infrastructure and ease of mobility. Being an architect, the aspect I found most endearing of the city-wide master planning was the access and provision of toilets almost everywhere, be it at metro train stations, bus terminals, shopping plazas, parks, or even on mountain hikes. The convenience of having clean and hygienic toilets in public places was truly a gift for me during my stay there for a few years.

Water

The water challenge: international trade to the rescue

The Water Challenge: International Trade to the Rescue
In many parts of the world, water availability is in decline and its quality is deteriorating. According to the World Bank, water scarcity, intensified by climate change, could come at a high price for some regions, costing as much as 6 percent of their gross domestic product. Tackling the water challenge is crucial to unlocking poverty eradication, prosperity, ecosystems preservation, and gender equality. As such, water security is a fundamental element of a sustainable development agenda. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals recognized this by introducing a dedicated water goal (“SDG 6”) that seeks to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

Social Development and Poverty, Water

Extending the reach of flood insurance

Rice fields submerged by floods in Pakistan
Over the past few weeks, South Asian countries have been suffering torrential rains and devastating floods and landslides, exacerbated by Cyclone Komen, leaving over 100 dead and over a million displaced from Pakistan to Myanmar. The annual monsoon season in the region, normally a lifeline for farmers, this year resulted in floods that have caused severe damage to crops.